The Geek Foundation, a Springfield native nonprofit co-founded and led by women in tech, is cultivating the next generation of innovators, one that will be more diverse than the generation that precedes it. By partnering with local nonprofit organizations, the Fairbanks Community Hub, and the O'Reilly Center for Hope, as well as the Missouri Job Center to recruit students and host our programs, we are also able to focus on giving women, minoritized populations, and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds the impetus they need to diversify the tech industry and break barriers.
In partnership with the Missouri Career Center, we provide 100% FREE IT and Web Development six-month workforce development training bootcamps that educate adults with the skill sets needed to secure jobs in the growing technology industry. Jobs in tech and IT are in high-demand and are high-paying, making them valuable for career changes and those looking to enter the tech workspace. The Geek Foundation's curriculum is tailored to meet industry needs, locally and worldwide, giving our students unique opportunities to transition into careers that offer vast opportunities for remote work, especially post-pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs during the pandemic, and our courses create an opportunity to move into a field that is growing at an even faster rate than ever.
In 2020, The Geek Foundation began our first IT and Web Development classes. 60% of graduated students found employment within two months post-graduation, with two students finding employment before fully graduating! Our classes offer valuable hands-on training that qualifies them for entry-level careers and internships/apprenticeships with tech companies. Locally these positions offer starting pay wages from $35k - $70k, and are often remote positions, meaning the employee can work from any location.
The Geek Foundation's mission is to diversify the tech and IT career fields by recruiting students from local nonprofit organizations and the community that represent the populations we strive to serve such as Drew Lewis Foundation, Minorities in Business, SingleMomzRock, and Victory Mission.
Currently, 7% of IT A+ Certification holders are women, and 95% of the tech force is caucasian.
37 of the 46 students who enrolled in our first round of classes in 2020 were women.
The Geek Foundation offers FREE education to those who make the future of tech more diverse: women, minoritized populations, and low-income individuals.
The Geek Foundation in 2021
After the success of our first classes and current classes in partnership with the Missouri Job Center, The Geek Foundation is working with the Drew Lewis Foundation's RISE program to offer our web development class to their rural RISE communities via virtual education. Community members in areas like Aurora, Monett, El Dorado Springs, and Hermann could greatly benefit from educational opportunities that lead to high-paying, remote careers that provide workforce and economic development opportunities for these rural communities.
In partnership with the Drew Lewis Foundation, the class will also include a financial planning and budgeting series to ensure our students have the tools they need to be successful in their new high-paying careers. Tuition expenses for each student cover the financial planning and budgeting classes, daycare during class hours, textbooks, laptops, and any other equipment needs for the class. The Geek Foundation is seeking donations to start our web development class virtually for these rural areas in late Spring 2021. Your donation can help us launch this new program and will go towards student tuition in partnered rural communities.
We are so excited that with your help, The Geek Foundation was able to raise nearly $4,000 during Give Ozarks!
We wanted to reach out to thank you for your generous donation during Give Ozarks Day. All funds raised will go toward further development of our tech and IT education courses, making resources available to students so that they can be successful in our classes, and expanding our ability to reach communities in and surrounding Springfield.
Thank you again for your donation and for contributing to making the tech industry more inclusive and diverse.
The Geek Foundation